RT is a system for managing enquiries, mainly from emails or via a web page, but can also be used to log telephone or other requests. It groups related enquiries together, passes them on to relevant staff, logs when and what responses are made, and can provide statistics on how many enquiries have been made, how many are outstanding etc. It is used extensively in the University to handle IT helpdesk requests, both central and departmental queries to admissions and in many other areas. RT frequently handles well over 1,000 enquiries per day.
Many people use RT when the facilities offered by a simple mailing list or a shared mailbox aren't enough, for example assigning responsibility for a particular enquiry to a specific person, or seeing how long it takes on average to answer an enquiry.
The Public Face of RT
For it's public-facing end RT can be configured in a wide variety of ways - from simply an email address that people can send enquiries to, through to relatively complex enquiry pages that capture other useful information about the caller (e.g. www.bath.ac.uk/ask-admissions). Clearly setting this up can be quite time-consuming, and if you're considering using RT you should think about how sophisticated you want this to be.
For the staff who use RT to answer queries, most people use the fairly straightforward web interface, which can be easily accessed either on- or off-campus. You can also purely use email if you prefer. If you want to use RT, you will need to consider how you want to group your enquiries into 'queues', which staff can see and answer them, who gets emailed when new enquiries arrive etc. You should also consider how this fits alongside or replaces existing business processes, and the impact on staff.
Taking Things Further
If RT sounds like it could be useful, there is considerably more detail starting here: General Concepts. If you've had a look at these pages and would like to take things further, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org Please keep in mind the following questions, as we'll need answers to these to create your queue.
- Which department or faculty is responsible for this queue?
- Do you want an autoreply?
- What name do you want for your queue?
- Who should receive emails from the queue? (CCs)
- Who should be able to see the queue? (AdminCCs)
- Should the queue send a copy to a shared mailbox?
- What @bath.ac.uk email address would you like the queue to have?